The Obamas Already Preparing for Move to Hawaii in January 2013
HillBuzz ^ | 8/31/2012 | Kevin DuJan
Posted on Friday, August 31, 2012 5:31:07 PM
Barack and Michelle Obama will be moving to Hawaii in January of 2013 and preparations are now being made to purchase an estate in close proximity to land owned by the University of Hawaii, where the Obama presidential library and “political center” will be located.
Here in Chicago, it’s pretty obvious that Michelle does not want to move back to this city and its winters (for any reason) and Michelle’s mother, who’s been living in the White House with her daughter and her family, will be happily making the move to Hawaii as well.
I have a friend whose family knows Michelle’s mother; they have been crystal clear that the elderly Mrs. Robinson regularly says that she’ll be in Hawaii next year permanently with her daughter and granddaughters. There is neither talk of returning to Chicago to live nor of living in the White House for another four years — instead, there’s a sense of “it was fun while it lasted” coming from Mrs. Robinson in her talks with her Chicago friends.
Democrats are already working to locate an acceptable property in Hawaii for the Obamas to live; this land and its complex of buildings must be ready to move-into in January and must meet all the requirements the Secret Service demands since the Obamas will be granted continued protection, by law, for nine years after Barack leaves office. The Reagans, Clintons, and second Bush family all had their post-presidential homes purchased quietly on the side by friends when their times in office were coming to an end. The Obamas are doing the same thing now.
They are not talking about building a complex on vacant land because there is not time for that. They will need a place to live come January, and they are not returning to their home in Chicago that was purchased with the help of convicted felon Tony Rezko. Chicago served its purpose in Obama’s life and moving back here provides him no additional benefits. As a former president, he’d always be the second most powerful man in a town where the Mayor of Chicago is essentially a feudal king. In Hawaii, the Obamas will hold court as a new royal family on the islands.
Back in 2009, the University of Chicago showed interest in obtaining the Barack Obama Presidential Library and Museum (and Political Action Center) but all of that cooled when Chicago lost its ill-fated bid for the Olympics; those plans included the construction of parking garages and other support buildings that would have been centered around a temporary stadium that was meant to be demolished and replaced with the Obama Library Building. Valerie Jarrett, senior advisor to the President, purchased large tracts of tenement land near the proposed sites of all this construction hoping to cash in with a huge windfall when first the Olympics and then the Obama Library were supposed to be there. But neither of these things is coming to Chicago now.
The University of Hawaii will host the Library, Musuem, and “Political Action Center”. Most likely, it will be called the Obama Center, like the Carter Center in Atlanta, Georgia. Just like the Carters, the Obamas want to live as close to the Library complex as possible so Barack can hold court there, give speeches, and walk through a replica of his Oval Office to relive past glories (which is what Jimmy Carter does on a regular basis, FYI). This is pretty common for former presidents, actually. Both of the Bush families moved close to where their respective presidential libraries were built and the Reagans before them had a post-presidency life in close proximity to Ronald Reagan’s library.
The Clintons are anomalous for not moving back to Arkansas and living in New York state instead. The Obamas will resume the tradition of the former president living in a new home purchased quietly by friends and allies in the last days of his presidency to be occupied immediately after he leaves office and begins the construction of his post-presidential office and archives of his administration.
I’m not familiar with the real estate process in Hawaii, but I bet some of you who are industrious could start to look at transactions and available estates and note those that meet the following criteria for the Obamas’ new home:
* must have gorgeous ocean views and a private beach
* must be easily accessible via a short drive from an airfield, as Obama will want to travel a lot to give speeches in Jimmy Carter fashion after he leaves office
* must contain a main house with at least six bedrooms (one for Barack, one for Michelle, one for Mrs. Robinson, and one for each of the daughters); ideally the estate will have a separate in-law suite for Mrs. Robinson as she’d like some privacy I’ve been told
* must contain outbuildings for the secret service to occupy (as they will maintain a command center there for the family’s protection for nine years after he leaves office)
* must not have any close neighbors (or if it’s adjacent to another property, there must be high fences and some kind of barrier between the properties)
* must be easily accessible to a location where the University of Hawaii can maintain the Obama Library and Obama himself can work in his Obama Center
That last one is the big clue to where you will find a spot for their new home…since Barack Obama will want to be able to commute easily to the “Obama Center”, wherever that is built. He’s a young-for-an-ex-president man, so he’s got a good 40 years ahead of him to make use of that Obama Center when it’s built…and I imagine he wouldn’t want to drive any further to it every day than Jimmy Carter does to the Carter Center in Atlanta.
Where’s a good location that the University of Hawaii would want to build his library, so that it becomes a tourist attraction for Hawaii and also afford the University the Prestige of having it on a campus? The University will be picking up a lot of the cost of the Library’s construction as private fundraising for this project has thus far been anemic. In Chicago, Penny Pritzker has already started making soft calls to inquire if people would be willing to be generous to the Obama presidential library project and she’s gotten mostly polite declines (and some hang-ups). Someone who works for Penny told me that.
Figure out where the University of Hawaii could build this, and you’ll figure out the radius of a 20-30 minute drive (at most) for where the Obamas will have their next home starting in January of 2013.
Also keep an eye on architect Frank Gehry’s activities. The Pritzker family funded the Pritzker Pavillion in Millennium Park in Chicago, which Gehry designed. He’s the architect that designs buildings to look like crumpled paper that has been wadded up into a ball and placed on a pedestal. The idea for the Obama Library building is for it to resemble the US Constitution as crumpled into a ball during Obama’s term in office. Frank Gehry will design it, Penny Pritzker will spearhead the fundraising for it, and the Obamas will be living very close to where it will be built in Hawaii.
The clues are there…now we just need to figure out where this will be.
It’s a place I doubt I’d ever want to visit, but it’s not sitting well with Chicagoans here on the ground that it’s not being built in Illinois because without the Chicago political machine Obama would not have gotten to where he is. But now that he’s there, and will be leaving the White House soon…there’s no more need for Chicago or Chicagoans.
Hawaii, here they come!
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